lest, faithful and friendly as you are, you should transfix me at once

Irelia20150604

Senior Member
Chinese
The quotation comes from Jane Eyre Chapter 20

Quotation: “... I see genuine contentment in your gait and mien, your eye and face, when you are helping me and pleasing me—working for me, and with me, in, as you characteristically say, ‘all that is right:’ for if I bid you do what you thought wrong, there would be no light-footed running, no neat-handed alacrity, no lively glance and animated complexion. My friend would then turn to me, quiet and pale, and would say, ‘No, sir; that is impossible: I cannot do it, because it is wrong;’ and would become immutable as a fixed star. Well, you too have power over me, and may injure me: yet I dare not show you where I am vulnerable, lest, faithful and friendly as you are, you should transfix me at once.

Context: Mr. R was about to confide in Jane.
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Hi everyone! I don't quite understand the bold part. Does the sentence mean "yet I dare not show you where I am vulnerable, for fear that, though you are faithful and friendly, you would petrify me at once (it seems as if Jane would react so strongly as to paralyze Mr.R with horror when she knew the truth)".
 
  • PaulQ

    Banned
    UK
    English - England
    Lest […] you should transfix me at once.” -> for fear that you would immediately reply in a manner that was fatal to my hopes and desires [i.e. with a refusal] and you are capable of doing so because of your stubborn decisiveness and firmness of character that I have just described.

    Transfix = to hold something in place by the means of penetrating it with a sharp, pointed object: here used figuratively: Jane's refusal would wound him fatally (at least his emotional life.)

    e.g. you can transfix a notice to a wall by using a nail or a pin.
     

    Irelia20150604

    Senior Member
    Chinese
    Lest […] you should transfix me at once.” -> for fear that you would immediately reply in a manner that was fatal to my hopes and desires [i.e. with a refusal] and you are capable of doing so because of your stubborn decisiveness and firmness of character that I have just described.

    Transfix = to hold something in place by the means of penetrating it with a sharp, pointed object: here used figuratively: Jane's refusal would wound him fatally (at least his emotional life.)

    e.g. you can transfix a notice to a wall by using a nail or a pin.
    :idea::idea: What a interesting word. :D Thank you for your detailed explanation. I fully see it now.
     
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